Drunk Driving Accident Attorney in San Antonio
The frustration that you’d likely feel after another driver hits you could quickly turn into outrage if you learn that they were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the crash. If you’ve been injured by an impaired driver, you deserve compensation for the injuries and losses they’ve caused you and to hold the drunk driver accountable for their egregious behavior. The dedicated legal team at the Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover is here to help.
For more than 30 years, Troy has been dedicated to protecting the rights of people who’ve been injured in accidents in San Antonio, Central, and South Texas. He is prepared to work tirelessly to secure the best possible result in your case, as he has done for thousands of clients to date. In fact, that track record of success is why we’ve become one of the most respected personal injury firms in San Antonio. Another reason is that Troy is Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, which is an honor extended to less than 7 percent of attorneys practicing in Texas.
If you’ve been injured by a drunk driver, contact the Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover today for a free initial case evaluation and to discuss your legal options with a San Antonio drunk driving accident lawyer. Troy will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have and to provide you with an objective assessment of your case.
Do You Have a Drunk Driving Case?
You may have strong grounds upon which to file a drunk driving accident lawsuit if you were involved in a motor vehicle accident with an intoxicated driver and suffered personal injury or property damage as a result. This situation could entitle you to recover compensation for losses, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Who Is Responsible for a Drunk Driving Accident?
In most drunk driving accidents, the intoxicated driver is typically liable for providing financial compensation to any injured parties. However, other parties may also be held partially liable for the accident. For example, a bar or restaurant that continued to serve alcohol to the intoxicated driver after they had become visibly drunk could also be held liable for a resulting accident.
How Can a San Antonio Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Help You with Your Case?
If you’ve been injured in a drunk driving accident in San Antonio, an attorney from the Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover can help you demand accountability and financial recovery from the drunk driver by:
- Recovering critical evidence, including accident scene photos or videos, police accident reports or arrest reports, surveillance video footage, and eyewitness statements
- Identifying all potentially liable parties, including commercial establishments or social hosts who may be liable for overserving the drunk driver
- Documenting your injuries and losses to calculate rightful medical compensation
- Vigorously pursuing your claims at the negotiating table
- Taking your case to court and to trial if necessary
What Are the Damages You Can Seek as a San Antonio DUI Victim?
If you have been involved in an accident with a drunk driver in San Antonio, you can seek financial recovery for losses, including:
- Medical and rehabilitation expenses incurred to treat accident-related injuries
- Costs of long-term care to treat permanent accident-related disabilities
- Lost wages and job benefits if you miss work or cannot return to employment because of your injuries
- Physical pain and emotional suffering resulting from your injuries, permanent disabilities, or scarring and disfigurement
- Vehicle repair or replacement costs
What Are the Drunk Driving Laws in San Antonio?
In San Antonio, TX, the law prohibits drivers from operating motor vehicles while “under the influence of” alcohol. In addition to making drunk driving illegal, Texas law also imposes criminal penalties if a drunk driver causes an accident that results in serious bodily injury or death to another person. Serious bodily injury is any injury that results in the impairment of a body part or bodily function, the loss of a body part or bodily function, permanent disfigurement, or that poses a risk of causing death.
What Qualifies as Drunk Driving?
In Texas, most drivers are considered legally intoxicated when they have a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or more. However, certain drivers may be subject to lower thresholds. While the law provides for a presumption of drunk driving when a driver’s BAC exceeds the legal threshold, a driver with a lower level of intoxication may still be charged with and convicted of DUI if the evidence proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver’s intoxication rendered them incapable of safely operating a motor vehicle.
What Is Texas’s Zero Tolerance Policy?
While most drivers are presumed to be legally intoxicated when they have a BAC of 0.08 percent or greater, Texas’s Zero Tolerance Policy reduces this BAC limit for drivers under the age of 21 to 0 percent. This means that any driver under the legal age to purchase alcohol can be charged and convicted of DUI if they have any detectable alcohol in their system, without the need to prove that the underage driver was actually impaired by their intoxication.
What Are San Antonio’s Dram Shop Liability Laws?
Like many other states, Texas has a dram shop law that imposes liability upon parties that serve alcohol to a person who becomes intoxicated and then causes a motor vehicle accident. The dram shop law normally applies to commercial establishments – such as liquor stores, restaurants, clubs, and bars – that serve alcohol to visibly intoxicated patrons or that knowingly serve alcohol to minors.
In addition to the dram shop law, Texas also imposes social host liability, under limited circumstances. A social host refers to someone who organizes a social function and serves alcohol to attendees without accepting compensation or intending to make a profit. Typically, social host liability only applies when the social host knowingly serves alcohol to a non-related minor who then causes a motor vehicle accident.
Under both the dram shop law and social host liability law, anyone injured in a drunk driving accident can hold the dram shop or social host liable for their injuries and losses.
San Antonio Drunk Driving Accident Statistics
Unfortunately, San Antonio has some of the highest rates of drunk driving in the nation. During several recent years, Texas had the fourth-highest rate of drunk driving deaths per 100,000 residents. Furthermore, the San Antonio metro area also ranked fourth among metro areas nationwide in per capita DUI arrests.
During one recent year, Texas saw a total of 963 alcohol-related traffic fatalities, which was a five percent increase over the previous year. That year also saw a six percent year-over-year increase in drunk driving accidents in Texas. During one recent Fiesta, the San Antonio Police Department reported making 129 DWI arrests.
Can You Sue Someone for Drunk Driving?
While you cannot sue someone solely for drunk driving, you may have strong grounds upon which to file a personal injury lawsuit if an intoxicated driver injures you. Via a drunk driving accident lawsuit, you can recover compensation for your past, ongoing, and future anticipated losses. However, under Texas’s statute of limitations, you typically have only two years from the date of a drunk driving accident to file suit against the intoxicated driver. You may lose your right to hold the drunk driver accountable if you wait too long to file your lawsuit.
What Are the Penalties for a DUI in San Antonio?
While you can file a civil claim against a drunk driver for having caused a motor vehicle accident that injured you or damaged your property, the state can also file criminal charges against that drunk driver solely for impaired operation of a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. A DUI conviction in San Antonio carries stiff penalties, which vary depending on whether the accused had a prior DUI conviction as well as other circumstances, such as having a child passenger. Penalties for DUI include:
- First conviction: A fine of up to $2,000, up to 180 days in jail with a mandatory minimum of three days, and a one-year driver’s license suspension
- Second conviction: A fine of up to $4,000, one month to one year in jail, and two years of driver’s license suspension
- Third conviction: A fine of up to $10,000, two to 10 years in prison, and two years of driver’s license suspension
In addition, courts also assess additional state fines ranging from $3,000 to $6,000.
Are Drunk Drivers Always at Fault in San Antonio?
While you may assume that an intoxicated driver involved in an accident is automatically at fault for causing it, that may not always be the case. For example, a sober driver who runs a red light may be responsible for causing an accident with a drunk driver who had the green light, although the drunk driver may be held partially at fault if, for example, they could have safely avoided the collision with the vehicle running the red light. With that said, an impaired driver involved in a crash will often be held liable for (partially or totally) causing the harm resulting from that accident.